Alumna Anna Magzanyan Has Built a Dynamic Career in Media

  • Anna Magzanyan is the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Business Journal. Photo by Lee Choo

Since graduating CSUN, Anna Magzanyan ’97 (Psychology) has built a career in media — both on the branding and publishing side — that has made her a unique figure in one of the world’s largest media markets.

After successful runs strategizing and marketing on the agency side, and an impactful stint with the Los Angeles Times, she was named the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Business Journal last June.

She has ideas — plenty — on how to stay true to the publication’s traditional delivery of content as well as developing new ways to reach an ever-evolving audience and new markets.

“The media world is constantly changing and it’s challenging to stay ahead of competition.” Magzanyan said.  “While it would be easy to take what I did from previous jobs and apply it here, it may or may not work in current times. Innovative thinking is crucial.”

Magzanyan has taken an uncommon route to where she is today.

First of all, there’s the psychology degree.

Magzanyan said there was a point when she was earning the degree that she knew clinical psychology was not the career she wanted. However, the tools she attained at CSUN were immensely beneficial for her future.

“Psychology taught me to embrace everyone’s individuality and pull teams together,” Magzanyan said.  “Additionally, it made me understand more of the human side of the business than just numbers, even though numbers came more naturally to me.”

When Magzanyan graduated from CSUN, she cast a wide net in her job search. She interviewed for an assistant media buyer position, not knowing what the job truly entailed, with Initiative media. She got the job and thus her dynamic career in media launched.

A major turning point was when she worked for marketing and advertising agency Round2 Communications. At Round2, she oversaw media planning and brand development for national and international accounts. Ketel One Vodka was one of her biggest accounts and new to advertising.

“I started from scratch,” Magzanyan said. “The first year, Ketel One spent $2 million in media. Due to their success, Ketel One increased their media spend to nearly $20 million within four years. The brand became so marketable that in 2008, Ketel One sold a 50-percent stake including their marketing and distribution rights for $900 million to Diageo Brands.”

In November 2005, Magzanyan met John O’Loughlin and joined Los Angeles Times as Senior Manager for Advertiser Marketing. Within a few years, she became the youngest Vice President in the history of the Tribune Company, overseeing product development, events, creative, advertiser marketing, sales operations and lead generation departments.

Magzanyan oversaw a team that increased alternative revenue streams 200 percent for the Los Angeles Times Media Group.

She managed the brand’s print, online and event marketing initiatives and launched the Los Angeles Times Image section, The Envelope, The Envelope Screening Series, Los Angeles Times Rock/Style, The Taste, Art of Entertaining, and repositioned the L.A. Times Festival of Books and the L.A. Times Travel Show. She also developed their digital media kits, sales training manuals and events websites.

Publisher and senior vice president Lynne Segall of The Hollywood Reporter, where Magzanyan worked from 2013-14 as vice president of marketing and partnerships, called her an “innovator” in a 2013 article.

“I enjoy creating products and business units that don’t exist, developing efficiency models and pushing new boundaries in business.” Magzanyan said.

Now she is establishing her vision for the Los Angeles Business Journal.

“Los Angeles Business Journal’s engagement with the business community is remarkable and unlike no other media, Magzanyan said. “Our weekly print continues to be the flagship with circulation growing modestly year over year. We are focusing on growing our digital portfolio and expanding our event franchise. This new venture is exciting as the opportunities are endless.”

It’s all connected to what she learned and experienced at CSUN. Magzanyan said there are many ways that the university defined her. One way is her ability to connect with people.

“People are the most valuable asset in a company,” Magzanyan said. “Understanding editorial and production teams who can be creative, finance and circulation teams who can be analytical and sales teams who can be driven has been beneficial in this new role. This understanding helps me bring teams together for smart collaborative thinking to create new products and continue to stay ahead in the competitive media space.”

Magzanyan currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband John Mavoyan and two children — Jolie and Gevork.

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